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threateners. When he laid the staff overcame his nervousness, and he out of his hands, he laid down with spoke, on several occasions, with reit the credit of the Volunteers. They markable effect. But on his return lost the national confidence from that to the English Parliament, his powers hour. Rude and violent agitators were again shut up; and, by a strange first usurped the power, then divided pusillanimity, a tenderness of oratoit, and then quarrelled for the divi- rical repute, unworthy of the memsion. The glaring evil of the bayo- ber of an English public assembly, net drawn for political discussion, during the remainder of his life, his startled the common sense of the na- voice was never heard. Yet, probation, and drove it to take refuge with bly no man led a more anxious and the minister. The army, which had self-condemning life. During this en. been raised amid the shouts of the tire period, public distinction, and nation, was now cashiered by its uni. distinction peculiarly by eloquence, versal outcry. The agitators went seems to have never left his contemdown among the common wreck, plation. He compiled, he wrote, he and, in the subsidence of the general made commonplaces of rhetoric, be swell and uproar of the popular mind, was perpetually preparing for the the fame and virtues of the venera- grand explosion to which he was neble commander of the Volunteers, ver to lay the train. He saw, and alone floated undiminished to the we may well suppose with what bitshore.
ter stings to his vanity, the contemBut, if for one quality alone, the poraries, whose talents he scorned, name of this nobleman ought to be hastening on in the path which he held in memory. Perhaps no pub- longed yet feared to tread, and lic individual of his day extended snatching the laurels that had hung such ready and generous protection to down, soliciting his hand. He saw men of ability, in their advancement a new generation start up while he in the various ways of life. He had pondered, and entering upon contwo boroughs at his command in the tests whose magnitude rendered Irish House of Commons, and, in all all the past trivial, and displaying the venality which so daringly distin- powers which threw the mere rheguished partisanship in that House, torician into the shade, obtain the no one ever heard of the sale of the most magnificent prizes of eloquence. boroughs of Lord Charlemont. He Still he continued criticising, prepaapplied his influence to the manly ring for the great effort that was never and high-minded purpose of intro- to be made, and pondering on the ducing men of talents into the Legis- fame which he had already suffered lature.
hopelessly to escape, until he sank An accidental intercourse with out of the remembrance of society, Burke, chiefly in consequence of the and dwindled into the grave. Percharacter which he derived from the haps literary bistory has seldom af. treatise on the Sublime and Beauti- forded an example of vanity so comful, induced him to serve his inter- pletely its own punisher; his extraests, by a connexion with the Secre
vagant sense of the merit of a single tary for Ireland, so well known by effort, strangled every effort to come ; the name of single-speech Hamilton. he was stifed in his own fame; his
Hamilton's character is a problem vanity was suicidal. to this hour. A single effort of elo- With a superior of this order, jeaquence had placed bim among the lous, anxious, and severe, it was imhopes of the British senate. He ne- possible that Burke's open temperaver repeated it. Its reputation, and ment, and gallant dependence on his the friendship of Lord Halifax, then own great powers, should long cordiPresident of the Board of Trade, ally agree. At the end of two years, made him a meinber of the Board in he suddenly abandoned the private 1756. Hamilton still continued si- secretaryship, to which he declared lent. In four years after, he was Hamilton, in the spirit of tyranny, made Secretary for Ireland, on the had annexed degrading conditions, appointment of his noble friend as and in 1763 returned indignantly to Lord Lieutenant. In the Irish House, England, to take the chances of bethe necessities of his situation, as ginning the world anew. Prime Minister of the Viceroyalty, But the world on which he now
fixed Iris eyes, wore a different aspect giring evidence of admirable qualifrom the humble and cheerless world ties for the service of the state; and which he had so long contemplated yet we see this man of talent and diliin his closet. His Irish Secretaryship gence, of vigorous learning and pubhad made him feel his faculties for licvirtue,left to linger in obscurity for public life; it had thrown him into ten of the most vivid years of his being, those waves which might waft him on admired and overlooked, applauded to the most brilliant fortune. He had and neglected, down to the point of invigorated every muscle of his mind abandoning England, and fixing bimby the practical labours of office. self a reluctant exile in a foreign Those two years, toilsome as they country, and from this fate rescued were in the passing, and painful in by the mere accident of club comthe termination, had made bim a panionship, indebted for the whole statesman. He was thenceforward change in his prospects, for the intermarked with the stamp of public life; position between eminence in Engwe hear no more day-dreams of me. land and banishment to America, to lancholy independence in America. the casual civility of a good-natured From this moment, he was committed man of conversation. The truth is, to the cause in England. He buckled that genius is not the quality for this on his golden armour, and entered self-elevation. It is too fine, too fasthe lists for life within the realm tidious, too delicate in its sense of which no man more contributed to degradation, and too proud in its esadorn and to save. Within two years timate of its own rank, to take the after his return from Ireland, he com- better and humiliating chances of the menced this career. In 1765, the world alone. It has the talon, and Marquis of Rockingham was appoint- the plume, and the eye that drinks ed Premier. Burke was recommend. in the congenial splendour of the ed to him as private secretary, and But those very attributes and the Minister gladly availed himself organs are its disqualifications for of the services of a man, already so the work that is to be done by the distinguished for literary excellence mole-eyed and subterranean ambiand official ability. This recommend- tion of the routine of public life. ation, equally fortunate on both sides, This is the evil of all long established was chiefly due to Mr Fitzherbert, a governments. Public employ, the man of birth and accomplishment object of the most generous of all who had known Burke at Johnson's ambitions, is surrounded with a syscelebrated club. Of Fitzherbert him- tem of artificial obstacles, a circumself, Jobnson has left the following vallation of dependence through graphic sketch :-“ There was which no man can make his way by sparkle, no brilliancy in Fitzherbert; his single assault. Patronage holds but I never knew a man who was so the key of every gate of the citadel. generally acceptable. He made every Family influence, personal connexbody quite easy, overpowered nobody ion, private obligations, all must sign by the superiority of his talents, made the passport that admits the new man no man think the worse of himself within the lines and ramparts of this by being his rival, seemed always to singularly jealous and keenly guardlisten; did not oblige you to hear ed place of strength. It is only in much from him, and did not oppose the great general changes of the what you said.”
state, in the midst of mighty revoluBurke's tardy progress to the sta- tions and sweeping overthrows of tion for which nature, genius, and established authority, when the acquirement had formed him, is an- old bulwarks are broken down into other among the thousand proofs of fragments, that young talent can desthe fallacy, that talents make their pise ancient vigilance, force its way own fortune. We see bere a man over the ruins, and be master, in its of the highest abilities, with those own right, unindebted but to its own abilities directed to the express la- solitary prowess and self-dependent bours of public life, associating with energy. a round of leading persons in life Yet all may be for the best. Even and literature, blameless in bis pri- in the restraints laid upon the sali. vate conduct, undegraded by pecu- ency of genius, there may be that niary difficulty, ardent in spirit, and good which redounds in securing
states from rash ambition, the beset- composed the Ministry. The Marting sin of powerful minds. It may quis, a simple man, was terrified at be useful even to the productive ser- what he had done; but a straightvices of such minds, that they should forward one, he had the manliness undergo in part the training that be- to mention the statement immediatelongs to delay and disappointment. ly to his new associate. Burke, proThe pride of talent may be wisely bably not without some contempt taught that the feelings of a race for the understandings of both the whose mediocrity it would be ready noble Lords, satisfactorily shewed to trample under its feet, that the that it was even possible to be an commonplaces and forms of socie- Irishman and a Protestant at the ty, that even the feeble prejudices same time; and referring to his career which grow up with old institutions, in the College, where he had obtainlike the moss and weedy blossoms, ed a scholarship, an honour rebarmless ornaments round the served expressly for Protestant stuwalls of our castles, are entitled to dents,-he at length succeeded in some share of its regard ; that there appeasing the trepidations of the two are other ministers of good on earth, Ministers, and establishing the facts, than the impetuous stride and burn- that, being a Protestant gentleman by ing glance of genius; that the general birth, he was not a Jesuit, and being genial barvests of social life are not educated in the Irish University for to be ploughed in by the lightning, the bar, he was not educated for a por reaped by the whirlwind. At priest at St Omers. least, we may well rejoice in the al- But it may be easily conceived ternative which leaves us the quiet that this rapidity of suspicion was of society, undisturbed by revolu- not palatable to the feelings of a man tion. To pass in peace through life like its object. He instantly retortis the first gift of government to ed upon the Premier; and declared nations. A few bright particular that his retaining office was thencestars" may thus be lost to the na- forth incompatible with his feelings; tional eye, glittering for a moment, that suspicion so easily roused and and then sunk below the horizon for so readily adopted, would naturally ever. But we may well be content introduce reserve into their interwith a sky wbich gives us the light course; and that conceiving a half of day and the seasons in their time, confidence to be worse than none, unstartled by the terrors or the won- he must immediately resign. The ders of those flaming phenomena Marquis listened, but he was an old which, if they descend to increase English gentleman. The dignity of the splendour, may come to shock conscious spirit and virtue in Burke the harmony of the sphere.
attracted only his applause. He deBurke was now brought into Par- sired that the subject should be enliament for Wendover, in Bucking- tirely forgotten, professed himself hamshire, by the influence of Lord more than ever gratified by the manVerney, and on July the 17th, 1765, liness of his conduct, and refused to received his appointment as private hear of his resignation. Burke, of secretary to the Minister. Yet even course, gave way to this generous at this moment his fortunes were on refusal, and proved himself worthy the verge of wreck. His country of the most perfect confidence, by operated against him; and, as in the his zeal and services during the life crude conceptions of the English po- of his noble friend, and by many an pulace, every Irishman must be a eloquent tribute to his grave. In Roman Catholic and a Jacobite, the one of his speeches in Parliament, old Duke of Newcastle, a man who several years after the death of the through life exhibited the most cu. Marquis, he thus feelingly alluded rious combination of acuteness and to his appointment and his patron :absurdity, of address in office, and “In the year sixty-five, being in eccentricity everywhere else, in- a very private station, far enough stantly adopting the wisdom of the from any idea of business, and not coffee-houses, burried to the Mar- having the honour of a seat in this quis of Rockingham to protest against House, it was my fortune, unknowhis bringing this firebrand into the ing and unknown to the then Minismagazine of gunpowder which then try, by the intervention of a common friend, to become connected with a men who uttered and the men who very noble person at the head of the believed. The whole has too much Treasury department. It was indeed the air of a battle on the stage. And in a situation of little rank and of no it must be acknowledged that the consequence, suitable to the medio- mimic spirit of the hostility was crity of my talents and pretensions; well authenticated in the perpetual but a situation near enough to ena- changes of the actors, in the unhesible me to see, as well as others, what tating shiftings of their costume, in was going on. And I did see in this their rapid transitions from banner to noble person such sound principles, banner, in their adoption night after such an enlargement of mind, such pight of new characters, and their clear and sagacious sense, and such being constant to nothing but a deunshaken fortitude, as bound me, as termination to be always before the well as others better than me, by an public, until age or national coninviolable attachment to him from tempt drove them from the scene. that time forward.”
But other things and other times are The new Ministry opened the ses- in reserve for their offspring. We sion of Parliament on the 14th of see the gathering of storms that shall January, 1766. Burke immediately try the strength of every institution shewed the value of his accession. of England and mankind. A new evil His first speech was on American has been let loose upon the earth, affairs, and his force, fancy, and in- from a darker source than any that formation, astonished the House. the timid crimes or colourless folPitt, (Lord Chatham,) whose praise lies of past ages ever opened. French was fame, followed him in the de. Jacobinism has spread through the bate, and pronounced a panegyric world. Its Babel was cast down in (a most unusual condescension) on France, but the fall has diminished the new orator. He observed that nothing of its malignity, and nothing
the young member had proved him- of its power. Its confusion of self a very able advocate. He had tongues there has only inducted it himself intended to enter at length into the knowledge of every lan. into the details, but he had been an- guage on earth, and the scattered ticipated with so much ingenuity and strength of atheism and revolt bas eloquence, that there was little left gone forth to propagate the kingdom for him to say.
He congratulated of violence, and the idolatry of the him on his success, and his friends passions, round the globe. The mulon the value of the acquisition which titude in every quarter of Europe they had made.”
are already in the hands of JacobinThe stirring times through which ism. A spirit of fantastic and scornwe have passed, and the still more ful innovation is at this time abroad, stirring times which seem to lie be- marshalling every casual discontent fore us, throw an air of lightness into its levy against the liberties and over transactions deemed momen- thrones of all nations; every comtous in the days of our fathers. The plaint of idleness, of folly, of forlast quarter of a century shoots up iune; of the common chances of between like the pillar of the Is- nature; even scarcity, disease, the raelites, covering all behind us with simple inclemencies of the seasons, cloud, and all before us with flame. swell the same muster-roll of grieWe have become accustomed to a vances with misgovernment; until larger wielding of power for larger the signal is given, and with rebellion consequences,-not armies but na- in the van, and rapine in the rear, the tions marching into the field-not em- whole sullen battalion is moved pires but continents convulsed with against the last refuges of law, gooverthrow, or rejoicing in the frac- vernment, and religion. Unless some ture of their chains,-conspiracies of hand mightier than that of human kingdoms, and triumphs of the world. champiouship drive back the tempTo us the strifes of domestic party, ter to his dungeon, the ruin of all which excited the passions of our that deserves our homage is ineancestors, have the look of child's vitable. The rise or fall of rival adplay; we hear the angry declama. ministrations will then cease to be tion and the prophetic menace, with a matter of moment to any living besomething not far from scorn for the ing. Be their merits what they may, they will hold their power but by mination, prompt vigour, sleepless the caprice of the crowd. If they vigilance, and sacred fidelity, is come. are virtuous, they will but raise the The materials of revolt are gathered scaffold for themselves; if they are and heaped high, and ferment in vicious, they will but wash it with every province of the Continent. the blood of others. All the old ge- We know the conflagration that is nerous impulses to public service, prepared at home, we have heard all the glowing and lofty aspirations the insolent menace of the bundred which gave men wings in their as- thousands that are to march with cent up the steeps of honour, and banners flying from our manufactumade the ruggedness of the height, riog towns to meet the insurgent and the tempests on its brow, only million of the capital, and concoct dearer portions of the triumph, will laws for King, ministers, and nation, be at an end; there will be but one under the shadow of the pike. But motive to labour, pelf and lust; one we know, too, how such menaces check to treason, fear. Successive were met before; how the throne administrations will be gathered and was strengthened by the very blast dissolved with the rapidity of a snow- that was to scatter its fragments ball. Their rise and progress will be through the world; how the temple, no more noted, and no more worth instead of a ruin, was turned into being noted, than the floating of bub- an asylum for the grateful virtues bles down the stream. The names of the land ; how the national terror of Whig and Tory will be equally was transmuted into valour and paobnoxious, or equally forgotten. One triotism; and even in the rolling of great faction will absorb all. A hun. the thunders that still shook the dred-beaded democracy will usurp Continent, England saw but the the functions of government, and agency of a power above man, armed turn ministers into clerks, and cabi- for the preservation of her empire. nets into bureaus for registering the Burke's early distinction in Parplunder, or tribunals for shedding liament was the result of a mind the blood of the nation. Is this an remarkably constituted for public imaginary picture of the rule of the effort; but it was also the result of multitude? Or is it some sullen rem- that active and masculine diligence nant dug up from the sepulchres, which characterised him through where the crimes of antiquity lie, life. Contemplating statesmanship fortunately hid from the world ? Is as holding the highest rank of intelit not even a creation of our own lectual pursuits, and not unnaturally day, is not its fiery track felt still excited by the lustre of its rewards, across every field of France ? We he had from an early period applied there saw a power, which had no himself to the study of politics; as name in courts or cabinets, start up he advanced nearer to the confines with the swiftness of an exhalation, of public life, he had adopted the and spread death through the state. practical means of exercise in speakEngland was saved; over her a great ing, in some instances at debating protection was extended. A man of clubs, of attending the debates in the the qualities that are made for the House of Commons, and of making high exigencies of empires, guided himself acquainted with the princiher councils, and appealing to the pal subjects which were likely to memories and the virtues of the attract discussion. Such was his country, rescued the constitution. diligence, that on the subject which Let the successors to his power be must have been the most repulsive the successors to his intrepidity, and, to his soaring mind, the details of no matter by what name they are the commercial system, he was soon known, we shall honour them. No
conceived to be among the best invoice of ours shall call their triumph formed men in England. in question, or be fretfully raised in This was the day of ministerial the general acclamation that follows revolution-cabinets were abortions. their car to the teniple of victory. The reign had commenced with an But the time for the old feeble com- unpopular ministry, solely sustained pliances is past in every kingdom of by the character of the monarch. Europe. The time for stern deter. But no ministry can stand long on
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